Over the first quarter of 2012, the EU market for new light duty vehicles shrank by 7.7%, compared to the same period a year ago, with a total of 3,312,657 new registrations, according to the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA).
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In March, demand for new cars in the EU was negative for the sixth consecutive month, with a decline of 7.0% compared to March last year. While retaining their importance in terms of volumes (1,453,407 new cars), March registrations have not been at this level since 1998.
Results in March were diverse across the EU as Italy (-26.7%), France (-23.2%) and Spain (-4.5%) saw their markets contract whereas the UK (+1.8%) and Germany (+3.4%) performed better than they did in the same month a year earlier.
From January to March, contrasting performance across countries led to the overall 7.7% drop. Looking at the major markets, the German (+1.3%) and British (+0.9%) slightly expanded, while the Spanish dropped by 1.9%, and Italy (-21.0%) and France (-21.6%) faced a much sharper downturn.